Baselines for Assessment of Choice Programs


  • Paul T. Hill University of Washington
  • Kacey Guin University of Washington



Academic Achievement, School Choice, Program Evaluation


Critics of choice argue that it will allow alert and aggressive parents to get the best of everything for their children, leaving poor and minority children concentrated in the worst schools. (Note 1) But choice is not the only mechanism whereby this occurs. Alert and aggressive parents work the bureaucracy to get the best for their children. Thus, choice programs should be compared against the real performance of the current public education system, not its idealized aspirations.


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Author Biographies

Paul T. Hill, University of Washington

Paul Hill is director of the Center on Reinventing Public Education, which studies alternative governance systems for public elementary and secondary education. He is also a non-resident Senior Fellow of the Brookings Institution. For Brookings he is now leading a national working commission on choice in K-12 education, which will issue its report in late 2003. Before joining the University of Washington faculty, Paul Hill worked for 17 years as a Senior Social Scientist in RAND's Washington Office where his research focused on the reform of elementary and secondary education. He contributed to studies of defense research, development and acquisition policy. While at RAND he served as Director of Washington Operations (1981-87) and Director of the Education and Human Resources program (1979-80). While a government employee he directed the National Institute of Education’s Compensatory Education Study (a congressionally-mandated assessment of federal aid to elementary and secondary education) and conducted research on housing and education for O.E.O.

Kacey Guin, University of Washington

Kacey Guin is a research coordinator for the Center on Reinventing Public Education, in the Daniel J. Evans School of Public Affairs at the University of Washington. She has co-authored book chapters on the achievement gap and the assessment of school choice programs. Most recently, she completed a study on the impact of high teacher turnover rates on the organizational functioning of schools.




How to Cite

Hill, P. T., & Guin, K. (2003). Baselines for Assessment of Choice Programs. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 11, 39.